Reviewed by Matt Adcock
Director: Jon Favreau
Cast: Jon Favreau, Emjay Anthony, John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson, Sofía Vergara, Robert Downey Jr., Oliver Platt, Dustin Hoffman
“I get to touch people’s lives with what I do and I love it and I want to share this with you.”
On the menu today…
Decent anticipation for a new, lower budget and more personal movie from the hotshot director Jon ‘Iron Man’ Favreau. Tasty trailer that whets appetite but looks like it might be a little over-sentimental. The thought of seeing jaw-dropping food prepared in high definition on the big screen is enough to make anyone hungry.
Chef sees acclaimed chef Carl Casper (Jon ‘Swingers’ Favreau) unfulfilled cooking for meanie restaurant boss Riva (Dustin Hoffman). He’s also struggling to be any sort of father to his young son Percy (Emjay Anthony) after being divorced by his gorgeous now ex-wife, Inez (Sofía ‘Machete Kills’ Vergara). Speaking of gorgeous there is also Scarlett Johansson on hand as a foxy wine watress.
– When Casper falls fouls of top food critic, Ramsey Michel (Oliver ‘Fargo TV Series’ Platt) his meltdown shouting match goes viral on social media – and wrecks his job prospects.
– Fate sees the Chef flown off to Miami with his wife and son – and handed the chance to rebuild his cooking career by Inez’s other ex-husband (Robert ‘The Avengers’ Downey Jr.) in the shape of a run down food truck.
– Casper’s new mobile food service – making superb Cuban sandwiches and yucca fries – aided by his former soux-chef (John Leguizamo) and his son is an instant hit.
It’s great fun watching Casper get his life back on track – the themes of being inspired by what you love doing and the importance of the father / son bonding shine through in heartfelt style. Favreau eats up the screen and seems to be really enjoying being both behind and in front of the camera.
– The script might be a little heavy on swearing but is genuinely funny and the cinematography encompasses some of the tastiest looking food ever to grace the screen.
– There are additional messages of reconciliation and redemption might be more than some hardhearted types can take but I was moved, inspired and motivated to be a better father to my boys as a direct result of seeing this. In fact the first thing I did upon leaving the cinema was to hug my two sons harder than I ever have before and remind them how much I love them…
– Overall Chef is a excellent, feel good comedy that works on many levels, just be sure not to go on an empty stomach as you could well be drooling long before the credits roll.
So many children today struggle with the fact that their dads are so busy that there is hardly any scope for quality bonding time to be shared. For others there may be do ‘father’ or male role model in their lives for a host of reasons. Chef does a fantastic job of showing how even just ‘hanging out together’ can be a hugely formative and positive experience for children (and their dads).
For those with faith – the same is true as we relish time spent being with our Heavenly Father!!
Rating: **** 4 out of 5 stars